Digging into Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s defensive struggles

Earlier this week, MLB Statcast released its Infield Outs Above Average Leaderboard, and along with it, a treasure chest of defensive metrics. If you scroll to the end of the page, you’ll find one name at the very bottom of the list: Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
In his first full season at third base, Vladdy ranked 217th of 217 qualified infielders under the Outs Above Average metric with -16. Conversely, the gold standard at third base is someone like Nolan Arenado, who was worth +17 OAA at third base in 2019.
Not only did Guerrero struggle at the plate this past season, he also had difficulty fielding his position at third base. Conventional defensive metrics uncovered his issues at third base, and this new Outs Above Average metric and Defensive Runs Saved painted a similar picture for Vladdy at the hot corner in 2019.
Where it gets really interesting is when you delve into each player’s individual Statcast defense (like Guerrero’s for example).

Guerrero’s arm has never been the issue, and anecdotally, I attributed his defensive struggles to a lack of range at third base. Of his 17 errors in 2019, only four were throwing errors; the other 14 were …

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Author: Ian Hunter / Blue Jays Nation

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